Hello the list...anyone have info/input on sailing the Texas/Gulf Coast out of Corpus? Positives/negatives, interesting features, access to Mex, quality of sailing, services, anchorages, etc? Considering moving a '38 down there that draws about 5 1/2. Thanks, all...
I'm also curious about this. There seems to be no information out there on sailing the Mexican east coast. Check out publication 148 from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. It says:
There is a lot of thin water!!! There are oil rigs and tar balls. A lot of fish. Since it is shallow the water can be rough. I do not have much experience there only sailing with a friend on his boat. We always sailed out in the gulf .
FrancoC - thanks for the link. FYI, from what I understand, from info obtained elsewhere, the bay isn't great, and the ICW can be dicey. Seems like the best alternative is to get out in the gulf and head south! I'll be driving to the boat from San Antonio...maybe Galveston is a better choice?
MoonSailer - thanks for your input.
Although I normally sail out of Kemah on the shores of Galveston Bay, My Tiburon 36' ketch is at the moment in Port Aransas. Comparing Galveston and Corpus Christi Bays, it depends on what you want. There is more deep water in Corpus Christi Bay, but there are spoil banks along the ship channel and ICW that you have to watch out for. Galveston Bay has plenty of reefs and shallow areas, and there are spoil banks adjacent to the Houston Ship Channel and the ICW there as well. You're more likely to go aground in Galveston Bay than CC Bay.
Water is prettier in CC Bay owing to the sand bottom. Winds are generally higher and more regular than Galveston, but there are few protected anchorages. The view of Corpus Christi is beautiful! Local tourist attractions include the replicas of Christopher Columbus' fleet, USS Lexington, and the Texas State Aquarium (nice, but not "world class"). Port Aransas is a funky town with good restaurants, a nice beach, and lots of atmosphere. A nearby place to visit is Rockport, which is the site of the Texas Maritime Museum, and if you're into wildlife, lots of birds. Not far away is the Aransas Wildlife Refuge which is the winter home of the world's population of Whooping Cranes.
If you're planning to go to Mexico, Corpus Christi is, of course, about 200 miles closer. If you go down the ICW, you'll share the water with fishing boats, towboats and barges, and the spoil banks are unbelievably shallow. Not much to see either; on the land side are mostly ranches (the famous King Ranch takes up a lot of the trip), and Padre Island is happily undeveloped.
Once you go outside, the Gulf is about the same in either location. Much more big ship traffic in the Galveston Bay area; there are similar numbers of oil platforms off both bays.
One of the best things about cruising in the Houston/Galveston area is the incredible infrastructure devoted to boating. There are many excellent marinas and boatyards, and you can get just about anything you need for your boat in the Clear Lake area. Corpus Christi doesn't come close in that regard.
S/V "Southern Cross"
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